Oppression In America

I believe that many people in America that are a part of the marginalized or minority groups first-handedly know that there is absolutely oppression in America. Even today there is still oppression within America, it has changed throughout the years beginning with the discovery of America. According to Iris Young, “Five Faces of Oppression”, she identifies that the five faces are exploitation, marginalization, cultural imperialism, powerlessness, and violence. To begin with, the oldest form of oppression in America is exploitation. In Iris Young book, she conveys “In both slave society and feudal society the right to appropriate the product of the labor of others partly defines class privilege, and these societies legitimate class distinctions with ideologies of natural superiority and inferiority.” (Young 45) America has been exploiting minority groups since America was discovered through slavery, segregation, wars, etc. Today, the United States stills exploit minority groups such as African Americans and Mexicans. A lot of people that leave Mexico because of drug cartels and other dangers, as well as better resources and more opportunities in America, come to the US as immigrants but they are put through a long sometimes impossible journey to obtain visas. Some immigrants aren’t able to pass the test, know where to go to begin citizenship or visas, and are turned around if they don’t meet the eligibility requirments. They are usually taken advantage of by some farmer or manufacturer who offers the immigrants lower than minimum wage to offer them employment and to not report them illegally being in the US. Agreeing with Iris Young, that expresses the assumed superiority and inferiority that the manufacturer forces onto illegal immigrants. They are usually treated poorly, aren’t given proper breaks, and are given extremely low wages for their extended times of labor. Even if they became US citizens they will be at the bottom of the economic class pyrimid, which is what Iris Young explains the result of exploitation.

In addition to the exploitation in the United States today, there is also a sense of powerlessness according to Iris Young’s “Five Faces of Oppression”. She conveys “Professionals are privileged in relation to nonprofessionals, by virtue of their position in the division of labor and the status it carries. Nonprofessionals suffer a form of oppression in addition to exploitation, which I call powerlessness.” (Young 53). To continue the immigration problem, many of them that are supplied employment in return they aren’t reported can feel powerless. They aren’t treated fairly, they aren’t given proper working conditions, and they aren’t given the proper wages for their labor or safe hours to work. They aren’t U.S citizens so they aren’t protected under the law to get the proper work that they deserve. They also can’t report anything because they are illegally in the US, so they are left to feel powerless. To extend this problem to African American citizens who are U.S citizens are left powerless under corporate employers. If the entire company is corrupt then it may be difficult to report any hinderance to the labor laws that were established to protect employees. Some people can’t quit because they need the job and the money to live day to day life in America. In result, America has a lot of oppression still to this day.

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